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Blog Profile / Dot Physics


URL :http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/dotphysics
Filed Under:Academics / Physics
Posts on Regator:426
Posts / Week:2.4
Archived Since:July 11, 2011

Blog Post Archive

Telling You the Answer Isn’t the Answer

This is a story from my class. The course is a physics course designed for elementary education majors. Really, it’s a great course using a great curriculum – Physics and Everyday Thinking. The basic idea is that students work in...

Do Heavier Objects Really Fall Faster?

It doesn’t seem like such a difficult question, but it always brings up great discussions. If you drop a heavy object and a low mass object from the same height at the same time, which will hit the ground first?...

Acceleration of the SpaceX Grasshopper

Most people see this video of the SpaceX Grasshopper on a test flight and point to the funny stampeding cows. Yes, that’s funny but that’s not what I see. Instead, I see a great video example that can be used...

Looking Back at the Red Bull Stratos Jump

It’s been a year since Felix Baumgartner jumped out of a balloon at the edge of space. To celebrate, Red Bull and RDIO will host a new documentary Mission to the Edge of Space: The Inside Story of Red Bull...

Is This Knife Ping Pong Video Real or Fake?

I’m not sure what the Internet says about this video (I don’t want to look yet). However, this is another great example of a video that could be real or fake. Let’s take a look a couple of things in...

An Alternate Energy Source in Monsters Inc

Let’s talk about the Monster World in the Pixar movie Monsters Inc.. Yes, I am going to throw out some spoilers. I feel that if you haven’t seen this movie by now, you won’t see it. Oh, it’s a great...

A Closer Look at Newton’s Third Law

You might have noticed that I’m not too fond of the way some textbooks (and shows) word Newton’s third law. In fact, I think students get too focused on THE THREE LAWS instead of just modeling force and motion. The...

What’s the Acceleration of a Jumping Grasshopper?

I’m not going to tell you the value for an accelerating grasshopper. Instead, I am going to show you how you can figure it out. Well, of course you need a grasshopper first. Right? Thanks to the awesome videos of...

Parallax and the iOS 7 Wallpaper

If you have updated to Apple’s new iPhone operating system (iOS 7), you might have noticed something different. When you are on the home screen, the icons appear to shift a little bit as you move the phone around. It’s...

How Much Would These DIRECTV Super Fans Weigh?

I love these DIRECTV NFL Sunday Ticket Commercials. My favorite part is when the superfan guy sucks down an entire bottle of grape soda in one gulp. Now for some crazy estimations with a light sprinkle of physics. How Tall?...

Yes Students, All the Solutions Are Online

Let me start with an example of cross country track practice (really, this could be adapted for any sport). Cross Country Practice Coach: Ok people. Today you are going to run this 5 mile trail. Do your stretches and we...

Does the Human Population Effect Gravity?

This was a great question (reworded for clarity): “I understand that the gravitational force that the Earth pulls on the moon depends on the mass of the Earth. So, as the human population increases does this mean that we will...

How Do You Get 1.21 GigaWatts For Your Time Machine?

Here’s the important lines in this scene from Back to the Future. Doc: 1.21 gigawatts? 1.21 GIGAWATTS!? Great Scott! Marty: What? What the hell is a gigawatt? Note: they pronounce this as jiga-watt instead of the usual “hard g”. Wha...

How Do You Pour Water Up Into a Glass?

What the heck? Did gravity reverse itself to make this water flow UP? No, not quite. But this trick is indeed impressive. I’ve looked at this same phenomena before, but let’s go over it again. (I saw the above image...

How Should Two Lost People Find Each Other?

I stumbled across the following: If two statisticians were to lose each other in an infinite forest, the first thing they would do is get drunk. That way, they would walk more or less randomly, which would give them the...

Cool Things About Gravity on Gravity Day

Gravity Day is September 8th (9/8) which represents the constant g = 9.8 N/kg. Clearly, we should celebrate. Here are some interesting things regarding g. What is g? You might hear people call this the “acceleration due to gravity”. That’s...

What Makes the Tesla Model S Safe?

The 2013 Tesla Model S received a top safety rating by the National Highway Safety Administration. Top scores. So, what makes this car safer than other cars? There are several tests, but let’s look at the frontal crash. In this...

Are The MythBusters Scientists?

In a recent episode of This Week in Tech (episode 420), there was a discussion of the possibility that the next iPhone would have a thumb print scanner built into the device. I can’t remember who said what, but the...

How Strong Are the Suction Wheels in Bad Piggies?

I feel like I can’t keep up with Bad Piggies. Rovio is adding new items faster than I can analyze them. The item of interest for now is the new (well, not so new) suction cup wheels. These wheels allow...

Hyperloop Homework

The hyperloop is an idea proposed by Elon Musk. The basic idea is to build a system of tubes with passenger carrying pods inside. The tubes would have reduced air pressure and pods would have a fan to both make...

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